tenderplantsFebruary 18, 2012

so im wondering how hardy the dutch amaryllis are. not the hardier species. i live in about the most mild part of washington. right on the river across from portland and i can grow oleanders cannas and amarrylis belladona. i would plant these in a protected southern exposure with a concrete wall behind it. usually the biggest problem we have is rotting. we protect dahlias callas and other tenders with black plastic. anyways if anyone has any helpful advice i would really appreciate it. ( also if they are ones bought at christmas put in the ground after frost will they bloom in spring or will they just never bloom?, paperwhites will NOT work here.)

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I would say that most likely you can keep them in the ground all year around..I do envy you..in 6b we're just not warm enough although for the past few years I've had my dahlias closest to the stone foundation on the south side come back..But as you say, too much rain leading to rot would most likely be your biggest problem..if you could experiment with a few and cover with plastic like you do with your other stuff..I think you would be successful. These bulbs grow so well in the ground and if we have another non-winter like this year then I will probably give it a try..but I always chicken out at the last minute..and, we have very sandy well draining soil.

The bulbs you buy for Christmas that go into the ground after the first frost will need an entire summer season to rejuvenate the bulb..after that if you leave them out, they will be on their own time table..You might skip a year's blooming, but after that they most likely will bloom every late spring or summer for you for the foreseeable future..

This is just my opinion of course and maybe someone else would have better suggestions, but if I lived in zone 8 I would most definitly be leaving some of them out all year..heavily covered with mulch..Good Luck,


    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 12:02PM
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thanks for the advice, Im excited to try them out. im one of those people who always enjoys plants that are tender or borderline. i think i will probably leaf mulch them and cover in plastic. once again thanks.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 12:07PM
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e36yellowm3(7 Raleigh, NC)

They're hardy for me here in Raleigh which is really more like zone 8 than zone 7 these days. Just make sure they're well mulched and no part of the bulb is sticking up out of the ground or that part will freeze and turn to mush. And I agree with Donna, they sure do like being in the ground with unlimited depth for roots.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 9:07PM
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I think that hardiness zones are based not on the typical winter but the average "minimum" winter - which means an unusually harsh cold snap that would occur every 5-8 years or so.

So it is actually very likely that something not hardy to your zone would survive after 1, 2, 3, maybe 4 or 5 years, and this would be no surprise to the folks who design the zone designations/map. But then a below-average winter comes along (but one that tends to occur periodically in the area) and wipes the whole crop out, or severely damages it.

On the other hand... hardiness zones are also based on what plants need to perform as expected, not necessarily the basic minimum of survival. So planting something 2 zones below what they're marked may result in plants that thrive one year, then a bad winter hits and they get knocked back, take 2 years to recover, and then thrive again for a year before getting knocked back or reduced in numbers. So it also may be no surprise to zone map designers if your plants survive (but rarely bloom).

Hardiness zones also don't work as accurately in all parts of the U.S. For example, here in CO we tend to have dry winters so sometimes something that cannot survive a zone 5 winter in Illinois or Ohio will survive a zone 5 winter here because there's no solid ice. This has especially been true for desert-type plants; penstemons in particular marked zone 6 are reliable here. Alternately, some plants might benefit from some snow cover to insulate against cold or winter dryness. My guess is with hippeastrums you WANT dry because of what was stated above about rot.

So when it comes to your hippeastrums, what I would do is see if there is an area near your southern exposure that has a little roof overhang above it, which will significantly limit the precipitation there even if it's just 2 feet of overhang. Then mulch it up with some dry straw or hay every fall.

I'd also amend the soil with a lot of sand/gravel and loamy stuff like peat or sawdust.

My guess is hippeastrums are more cold-sensitive than cannas - not because the cells are tougher but because a canna can have 2/3 of the rhizome killed by frost and they will grow back easily in spring, whereas if you kill the top 2/3 of a hippeastrum bulb the next spring you'll just have grass. If if the ground reliably never freezes there, though, I think you're OK.

One problem you might have with Christmas-blooming hippeastrums is that they just went through dormancy and expect a growing season right after they bloom. In my opinion you should keep them indoors for winter and plant them in spring. They may bloom 1 more time after planting.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 10:09PM
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